Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Fola's Oasis- First Blogiversary!

www.carolinegardner.com
Yaaay! Time flies mehn....Now this is gonna sound very meh-meh-meeeeh and cliche and all that but yea, I definitely remember when I started this blog a year ago and I wrote my first post- "Welcome to my Oasis!". I had deliberated for about a month on whether or not I should start a blog. At the time, I had just resigned from my former job and needed to get productive. I had also just started a healthy hair journey- even though I hadn't decided to return to natural then. I had just begun a weight-loss journey and was finding it tough! So, finally, I decided to start this blog. I felt I could base it on hair care, skin care, fitness and beauty tips. I never thought I would diversify and begin to write posts on book reviews, the Word of God and fashion every now and then. I definitely never thought of featuring other divas on my blog. I remember wondering what to call the blog- "Fola's World", "Forlah", silly stuff like that came up. I finally settled for "Fola's Oasis"- an idea I got from another lifestyle blogger.

I have had A LOT OF FUN right here. I have met some incredible people- mostly fellow bloggers. Sometimes I wish there was a way we could all get together and just have a good time. Thanks to Nerline Germaine of chicfromhair2toe.com, Hadassah of nappilynigeriangirl.blogspot.com, Unoma of VieveButterfly, CurlyNikki, GlobalCouture, Eki of thechameleonblogger.com, Hausa Nigerian, Hannah Lawani of phroonesis.wordpress.com, Wura, livestrong.com, epyk.com, anemistyle.com, Gbehmie, Berry Dakara, missymayification.blogspot.co.uk, Beauty In Lagos, rock4less.blogspot.com, ladywannabeblog, dressed......omg the list is endless (and if your name is not on this list, please know it isn't deliberate! I wanted to do a very comprehensive list but I am at work and had to hurry up to do this post during break!). These bloggers and many others have helped me enjoy blogging so much- many of them welcomed me and encouraged me, and were more than willing to be featured on this blog. Thanks guys!

shrink4men.wordpress.com
Bloggers in Nigeria are still very unnoticed. Other than the four or five major gossip and entertainment Nigerian blogs, most other blogs are only known and visited by other bloggers and just a very few number of non-bloggers. I am hoping that this changes real soon. There is a WEALTH of knowledge and tips and ideas that are locked up in our blog posts and it would be great if the average Nigerian spent a bit more time getting such information from the internet.

So! And I have a shy, sheepish look right now- I wanted to do a small giveaway. My last giveaway was literally ignored so please don't shame me this time! Lol. I wrote about Chimamanda Adichie's latest novel- "Americanah" recently, here. I was lucky to receive a copy for free and since I already had one, thought I had better give it out to one of my readers. Now I know most of y'all would rather I did a giveaway on makeup products or skincare products or stuff like that! Trust me I'd rather do that too! And I WILL do that real soon- but hey, if you like reading, or know someone who does, or is curious about all the fuss about this writer, or you just like F.O, then you should enter for this giveaway. :-D





Giveaway Rules:
Who should apply: ANYONE who lives in Nigeria, UK or the US!
What to do:
1. Follow Fola's Oasis on Facebook (if you haven't done so already) by clicking here
2. Follow Fola's Oasis on Twitter (if you haven't done so already) by clicking here
3. Write a comment on this post with your Facebook and Twitter name. That way I can keep track and numerate the names.

**Giveaway closed!**

 And that's it! The book in hard cover goes for N 3700 to N5000 so getting a free copy in hard cover isn't a bad idea! I will also add a small mystery gift to the package. Whoop!

Happy Birthday to Fola's Oasis!
Whoooooop!!!!!!!!


Kisses,

Fola.

Why does my face look so bloated here? Sheesh!

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Revive and re-purpose your old make up!

 

 Hi ladies,

I was going through Gbehmie's blog, www.mystylefilofax.com, and saw a post about reviving old or broken lipsticks by melting them to make lip balm or lip shade. You can check out how she achieved this in her post here. Anywho it all got me thinking about an article I had seen on www.buzzfeed.com about reviving old makeup. Have a look:


Eyebrow spooly/brush


You can use an old mascara wand as an eyebrow spooly -after washing it clean of course. I already own a spooly, but I will keep this handy as a spare.

Revive broken pressed powder or eyeshadow


If your pressed powder, bronzer or eyeshadow is cracked (had this problem a lot with MaryKay pressed powder, gosh!), just add some rubbing alcohol or spirit to it, stir to make a paste, then let it sit overnight. Don't worry about the alcohol, it will be evaporate and the paste will harden to form a renewed "cake".

 Revive dried out mascara or lip gloss


This one is popular; my friend had told me about this trick a few years ago, when my mascara dried out too quickly. She asked me to put the tube in hot water and let it sit for a while. The heat will melt the hardened stuff inside. You can do the same for hardened lip gloss too.

DIY Sparkly nail polish

If  you add your fave but broken sparkly eyeshadow to your clear nail polish, you will get a sparkly nail colour!

 Nail Art Pen

I am DEF trying this. Been searching for a nail art pen and this would work better, as opposed to using a toothpick. I wish I hadn't thrown away my empty liquid eye liner tube.

DIY Gel Eyeliner
 
 The pic explains it all. I have gel eyeliner already but it would be fun to give this a try and see how it looks!

DIY Tinted Moisturizer

 This is also popular with beauty magazines. Adding your powder to your moisturizer to get tinted moisturizer, when you want that natural glow and barely-there look.

 DIY Solid Perfume

Use an old powder case to make solid perfume, by melting beeswax mixed with fragrant essential oils (can be bought at Health Plus stores) and letting it harden. I saw solid perfume for the first time with a friend. It's really handy, compact and not too strong. It's also cost-effective and this DIY one is of course, even more cost-effective.



Great ideas huh? 

*All pictures and ideas retrieved from www.buzzfeed.com*


xxx
Fola

Friday, 21 February 2014

Book Review: Americanah by Chimamanda N. Adichie







Have you read Chimamanda Adichie's most recent book- "Americanah"? It's a very popular book and I know a couple of friends who love the book a lot. Well, a few of you may know that I absolutely love all her books. Half Of A Yellow Sun brought tears to my eyes, and it takes a lot to make me cry. And no, I did not cry because it was an essentially "sad" book, like Danielle Steel or V.C Andrews books (lol). No, her books are just a perfect blend of suspense, politics, history, humour, more humour, bluntness....So I read Americanah a few months ago and decided to share my thoughts with you.

But of course, as with my other book reviews, I won't ruin the experience for you. In fact this is gonna be a short post, I promise! 

Americanah, they say, is a subtly political novel. I agree. Chimamanda writes about racial discrimination, politics, self esteem and love. The plot is so interesting; you get captivated right away. The book shows the experience of a simple Naija girl (Ifemelu) who went to the states - leaving her sweetheart behind, her experiences, breakthroughs, love-life, her blog (yep, I definitely connected with Ifemelu on this note lol) etc. I was particularly THRILLED when I realized that the book very subtly attacks one major issue I have with my fellow Nigerian brothers and sisters- the inferiority complex. I am one of those who can not stand a fake accent, or any justification for faking an accent. I don't even understand where the idea stems from. It is an accent, meaning it is peculiar to race, culture, your roots, so why try to adopt another person's accent? We are a generation that has become so influenced by the Western world- the slangs, dressing, so many things (I say a lot of "gonna" and "wanna" and "yo" for example), but accents should not be copied; they should be allowed to come naturally. These foreigners actually know when we are faking it, and they admire those who are themselves. I once dated a foreigner who was raised in the US and had the full American accent thingy going on, and the very first time we spoke, he told me he was so impressed that I did not try to fake an accent! That really got me thinking. Good, well-enunciated English is great. A fake accent is just dodgy. And that silly belief that a white man would not understand what we are saying unless we speak like they do is total rubbish. They would. Period. Now I see the common situation where you can't help it, maybe because you just feel you have to "blend" with the rest, but the truth is that faking an accent is majorly an inferiority issue, and whenever Chimamanda deftly slipped this into her plot, along with many other issues that border on inferiority complex, I just smiled happily. I feel like every Nigerian should read this book, because it will help with self awareness, self esteeem, appreciation for who we really are, the colour of our skin, the texture of our hair, it will help us realize that the classiest way to be, is to be YOU.

And the lovely thing about the book is that, you will realize these things but still "enjoy" the book- I mean, what I wrote about self awareness and all that might make you think the book is boring, too serious and all that, but that is not the case at all. Like I said, the book is actually humorous :-)

OK I snapped some pics of some of my fave pages- this one (the first few lines) below made me laugh because I agree, there is something irresponsible and too-feminine-for-you-mister-man, about a man licking ice cream from a CONE. I just feel men should take ice cream from cups, with a spoon. Leave the licking-from-a-cone to ladies and kids! Lol!





This one (first paragraph) was deep- about relationships. Missing something you no longer want, and the fact that you may sometimes grieve the loss of what could have been.


Now this one below is something every naturalista would absolutely relate to! Just read it and you would see what I mean! I had a very similar experience just last week when I went to get cornrows done at the salon!



This one also made me laugh. It reminds me of a friend of mine who once dated a white girl. I have always noticed this sense of achievement and accomplishment in his tone whenever he talks about his relationship with her, which totally irritates me :-) and don't get me wrong- I am one of those Nigerian ladies who can actually see herself dating and marrying a white man, but.....just read what's below and you would get what I am trying to say lol.


There are so many other pages I would have liked to share with y'all but like I said, this post is not meant to be long....it's beginning to get lengthy, so I'd better wrap up now : -)  

In summary, this book is beautiful. Like Chinua Achebe said, Chimamanda came almost fully made (I feel the same way about singer-rapper Drake- Drake came almost fully made in my opinion haha), meaning she is so talented, she skipped all the trial and beginner stages and just came on the scene to wow and impress us. After Half Of A Yellow Sun (is the movie even out at the cinemas yet?), Americanah is my next fave book by Chimamanda Adichie.

So give it a read when you can will you? It's quite pricey though....N5,500. But well worth it. I am planning a giveaway to be posted in the next couple of days so stay tuned if you want a chance to get this book for free! :-)


www.straitstimes.com


Have you read any of her books? Let me know what you think of them if you have!


Love,
Fola

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Nailed it! 02






Heylo!
Did you notice that I cut my nails? In my last post I wrote about how most of the nails on my left hand had chipped off, and I was gonna level all 10 nails in time. Well I guess the nails wanted to be "reborn", so I decided to start all over. It also gives me the opportunity to share with you my progress, and to let you see that growing your nails long is not difficult at all! So let this be the start of the journey...every month I will come back with progress pics as well as nail polish and salon details.

Date: 21st Jan '14



That's my right hand. Sorry about the blurred pic. The nails here are shorter because one chipped off, and it chipped really close to my skin. So when levelling, I made all the nails as short as that one.
Anyway I have to GOSH about this nail polish. I even posted it on my instagram. I LOORRVE it! It's Marks&Spencers Autograph nail polish in "Mink". I am so obsessed with this colour! I found it in my friend's closet and had to give it a try. My sister and also a colleague kept goshing about this colour too. I recently bought something similar but darker by Wet n Wild Megalast. Can't wait to try that one out!

The next look below, was done some days ago. As you can see my nails are beginning to grow- about 3 weeks from the first pic. Got it done at a small salon in my neighbourhood this time though the nail polish was mine.



Date: 13th Feb '14
This lovely blue colour is from Nails polish brand, a UV reactive product (it glows under UV light- isn't that cool? I don't club often though, so I don't know where I can find UV light to show this off haha) called "Glo Baby Glo". Got it years ago at a Primark store in Luton.

Both nail polishes have such great quality. There's nothing like a good quality nail polish-it's easier and neater to apply, and it lasts longer too.

So lets see how the nails fare in the next 5 months or so. To view my post on how to keep your nails long and strong, click here.



Laterz
xoxo

Sunday, 16 February 2014

#CleanEats!



Yeah...in case you are thinking, enough with the healthy eating, fitness stuff already! Oh well....
But for those who just might be interested in eating better or losing weight or whatever, this post might help a bit.
Just wanted to share what I have been eating/drinking to stay healthy these days-these are things I actually LOVE to eat/drink, which is a plus for me, cos I agree, eating healthy sucks most times.

Salad


I am in love with my salads. This "meal" helped me so much when I was on my weight-loss journey. My signature recipe -shown above- is simple. Lettuce, cabbage, one tomato, one-third of a large cucumber and a boiled egg. Quantity variations is entirely up to you. I just chop everything up and add some dressing. Surprisingly, it fills me up pretty good. I usually make mine within the range of 150-200 calories. One important thing about my salad is the dressing. I make my own salad dressing and it consists of: Mayonnaise (one full tablespoon), a dash of lemon/lime juice, 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Simple, super healthy, and yummy!

Cranberry Juice

I wanted to share a pic of my own bottle but I just finished it and threw away the empty bottle. I LOVE this drink! Not just for the taste, but I drink it a lot because I am prone to urinary tract infections and cranberry juice really helps with that. I buy the Ocean Spray brand from Oasis supermarket, and it doesn't have preservatives or anything like that. The Ocean Spray brand is really cool, because they have so many nice juices and cocktail mixes. I wanna try making my own virgin cocktail of cranberry and pomegranate juice soon.

Green Tea


Now this one is very popular- and I am getting accustomed to drinking this pretty often! I am hoping I can keep this up for as long as I can! I got this Clipper brand from my cuz who lives in the UK. I almost always ask her to bring green tea for me whenever she is visiting. I like to take it in the mornings most times because it has a bit of caffeine. Sometimes I place the used tea bag on my eyes to help with puffiness (#mycross).


So those are the things I have been eating and drinking lately, all in the name of health and fitness!



Love,
Fola

Friday, 14 February 2014

Hair Crush Features: Titi Dokubo




Yo!
So my first hair crush feature on F.O for the year 2014 is the pretty Titi Dokubo! Check it out!:

Please introduce yourself! What do you do?

I’m called Titi Dokubo by all who know me and I currently work at 5th and Quansah as a customer care specialist. You can check us out at www.5thandQuansah.com … a girl can like to advertise thru any medium. Lol

Why did u decide to go or stay natural, and how long have you been natural for?

I’ve been natural for about 14 months now and decided to tow this path in a quest to take better care of my hair. I’ve always admired the afro look but have never gotten used to the afro weaves and I said to myself, what better way to get the afro look than to have my very own afro. 




What’s your hair type, your regimen and staple hair products?

Well after studying all those spiral pictures and comparing my strands with them, I can say that I have a 4c type of hair. But then again… I would never know. Lol. Regimen is for those who aint lazy. Lazy girls like me just stick to washing when I feel there is product overload, or when my scalp starts to itch me a bit.

My staple products are water, olive oil, castor oil which I mix together in my spray-can for ease. I was just introduced to Elasta QP Mango And Shea Butter leave in conditioner and I’m never letting go of that product. Of recent, I added eucalyptus oil to my spray can. From time to time, I use shea butter or coconut oil and always wash my hair with Dudu Osun.




Please share a few tips and tricks for retaining length?

Length retention is something I’m still getting used to. However, I avoid combing for as long as I can cos I get scared of those shed strands that follow the comb when I’m done.

What reactions did u get when u first went natural and/or what reactions do u get now?

A couple of close friends just sighed cos they were used to me just making rash decisions about my hair seeing as I did a BC once in 2008 just after dyeing the hair shades of red and orange. Lol. Cos of my looks, I’ve always been seen as way younger than I actually am and after the BC, age questions became worse. Then as the hair started growing out again, I got questions as to whether I had changed churches and would stop using make up and wearing trousers. Of recent, I went to a salon to get a twist and the woman said she couldn’t do it except I would perm my hair. Some other salons would just give exorbitant prices just because they don’t want to make the hair and this is quite challenging seeing as I barely have time and I have no hair making skills which is something I must learn real quickly!


How do you wear your hair to work or formal occasions?

Luckily for me, my boss doesn’t complain about my hair seeing as she’s also a natural though she’s Ghanaian. I’ve not really had to attend formal occasions except for an interview I went for one once and after taking time out to comb the fro, patted it and it was looking all nice, I got in and the first thing the interviewer said before we started was “Hope you know that if we employ you, this hairstyle won’t work for us” and I was taken aback.

What’s the best thing about going natural and what advice do you have for other wanna-be naturals out there?

The best thing about going natural is that I now pay more attention to my hair. I think I’m beginning to border on obsessive sometimes. I freak out if you touch my hair, I can get pissed sometimes especially when someone tugs at my hair even though playfully. My advice to anyone that wants to go natural is this: be true to yourself. Don’t do it because others are doing it, let it be your choice from your heart. Know why you are doing it and also learn to take better care of your hair. That is the most important thing and like I always tell my friend Yinka, water is our friend.



Where can one find and follow u on the web? 

I can be found on www.fabdivawrites.blogspot.com where I deceive myself at being a blogger, on IG I’m @diva_inc … I think that’s all for now. 


 

Titi is just adorable isn't she? :-) Be sure to check out her blog for hair care tips and other cool stuff. I wish I could get those straw curls done though? It looks beautiful on her! And her hair reminds me so much of my hair- I think Titi and I are hair twins lol. 

Oh and I didn't forget! Happy Valentine's Day!

Who's looking all cliche today and rocking a red dress??? Huh? Or red dress and white shoes. Lol! Have fun!



xoxo

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Review: L.A Girl 3-in-1 make up stick



Well this was just one of those items I picked up...just because. I got it some weeks ago and spoke about it in my last makeup haul post, but I guess this is a more detailed review. 

It's a simple fat pencil with a transparent and sturdy cap- it better be sturdy because if it breaks.....
The make up stick is meant to help serve as a base for your eye, lip or cheek makeup so the colour pops, and some people also use it on their water line. 






I find that I have to blend the colour into my eyelid well, if I don't do that, it sets into my eyelid crease. I haven't tried it on my lip or cheek or even my water line yet though. 

Without flash
With flash
The first two swatches are rose and blue Sleek eyeshadow colours (no base). The middle swatches are the make up stick first lightly applied, then thickly applied. The last 2 swatches are the same rose and blue eyeshadows, this time with the make up stick as a base. So as you can see, the make up stick really helps bring out the colour. 
I got it at Gifty's Daughter on Toyin Street, for N1500. 


I should try it on my lips and see how it goes right?


Have any of y'all tried the make-up stick from any brand before? On your eyes, lips or cheeks?


Laterz chicas
xoxo



Monday, 10 February 2014

Supplement your way to a healthier you!

www.motherandchild.co.uk


Hello guys,

OK first, my friend and I have decided to embark on a challenge. A 30-day challenge. A NO-SODA-FOR-30-DAYS challenge. I have been hyping myself up to ensure I keep this up. No soda, just water or healthy juices e.g cranberry juice. 
Here's what I have noticed-and this will sound cliche, but I noticed it for MYSELF- what I eat REALLY does affect the way I LOOK and FEEL. It wasn't quite this way when I was younger. But it's true that as we age, our bodies become more "needy" and we have to eat right to ensure we look good-unlike when we were still young. As we get older, our bodies just can't fight off the wrinkles, fat, aging oxidants and all that stuff like it used to. The liver needs more frequent cleansing, the colon needs more frequent cleansing, you need to exercise more, drink more water, cut down on sugar etc. And it sucks! But as one of my top 3 goals in life is to still look good at age forty and beyond, and to actually be a M.I.L.F (yeah I said it!) at forty, I have to do what I can to eat right and exercise.

Well.....so as I was saying. I have noticed how my skin starts to look dull, break out more, how my eyes look dull and sooo tired, how my energy levels drop and my sleeping pattern gets screwed up, whenever I neglect eating right and I start taking a lot of sugar, ColdStone and Oh La La icecream, pizza etc. But I look the most "fine" and I feel much better whenever I cut down on the sugar, take my supplements regularly, exercise and take more fruits and veggies. I even have pics to prove it. I guess I am just not "young" anymore, and I really need to start taking responsibility for myself.

But what I wanted to share today was the supplements angle. Now, of course, supplements should never take the place of a good, well-balanced, fibre-rich diet. But they do help to make up for what we cannot take in, but we actually need. Other than an all-round supplement like WellWoman or WellMan, Centrum, Astymin etc, we also need some potent supplements to tackle some areas, according to the individuals needs.

www.healthymoncton.com

If you have acne issues- try Evening Primrose oil capsules. If you are prone to skin infections or colds and just want better health- try garlic oil capsules, goji berry or acai berry capsules. Try green tea supplements as they are packed full of antioxidants. Other supplements that are great for the skin, hair and nails are Omega H3 or H6 capsules, or just cod liver oil capsules. Women should also use probiotic capsules- they are a godsend and I will explain why below. 
Here's a pic of the supplements I take -not daily, but I alternate them. I use probiotics daily, evening primrose oil capsules daily. I use Vitamin C every now and then, and garlic oil when I feel I need to. Like now. I have started taking 2 capsules of garlic oil daily.

My supplements: L-R: Vit C, Garlic Oil, EPO, Probiotics
They are not so pricey-about N1500 each or less, although Probiotics are more expensive. Here's why I love 'em:

1. Vitamin C: Well....do I need to go into this? Immune-boosting, great for the skin, and I mean really great. Just make SURE you get 1000mg or 500mg of these. All those lickable orange Vit C tablets are just plain ascorbic acid and won't really do the magic. I hardly ever use cold-clearing medicine  or cough syrups whenever I have a cold. I only use 2 tablets daily for 3 days and I am already better. Better used when you feel a cold coming, or after a long, stressful day at work, or (very wise move), when someone you live with or work closely with has a cold. I cannot stress how much I love my Vit C tablets lol.

2. Garlic oil: This one is just a beast. Garlic is a miracle plant, period. Google it-the list is endless. Those of y'all who read my liver-cleansing foods post as well as the top 10 foods that will boost your immune system by Marie Jean post, would have noticed that garlic is highly praised on these posts. It simply helps to clean the blood, flush out toxins, boost the immune system like crazy, clean the liver, and even fight diseases because of its antibacterial properties. You can rub crushed garlic cloves on a skin infection and see results in a week. I even break open some of my garlic oil capsules and use it as a scalp treatment sometimes, to ward off dandruff. What I love about these capsules is that you get the benefits of garlic without smelling garlic-y- but you may belch once in a while though. And I'll be damned if you won't catch a whiff of garlic lol!

3. Evening Primrose Oil: EPO is great for menstrual cycle disorders, PMS, and other menstrual issues we women face monthly. But EPO is also great for the skin. I won't rave much about it, because I already did on my former post. I just know that this supplement has helped me a great deal with clearing acne and particularly keeping it at bay.

4. Probiotics supplements: Probiotics are simply friendly bacteria supplements in live cultures. The colon and urinary tract and even the vagina I believe have friendly bacteria that help to maintain the health of these organs, fight infections and regularize things. This is why harsh soaps and douches are not recommended for women-as these substances may kill these friendly bacteria. In fact, antibiotics are harmful to these bacteria-which is why many times, we get some mild itchy vaginal infections whenever we take antibiotics. Enter Probiotic supplements. They contain live cultures of lactobacillus bacteria and others. If you like live yoghurt, lucky you cos live yoghurt (and it has to be live) has these friendly bacteria. Personally, I have found that this supplement has helped me SO MUCH, as I am prone to urinary tract infections. I find that my periods are like-on-point regular, and vaginal discharge has reduced and normalized a lot. The brand I use has green tea extracts and probiotics are not just for women- it helps boost immunity.

www.oprah.com

Summary: This post ended up being longer than I planned. My advice is to use at least one supplement daily (a general supplement if you like, or probiotics, or even green tea supplements). Any supplement that has high antioxidants and helps with the immune system is great for daily use. Also use at least one other supplement maybe every 2 days-as needed. These "target-supplements" as I'd like to call them could be EPO, Vit C, probiotics, garlic oil, dandelion extract capsules. Just do what works best for you. There are sooo many supplements out there-with great benefits. Check health stores, read the labels and content list, talk to the pharmacist, do your research. But I strongly recommend you have Vit C and use it often. Also try taking herbal teas like the popular green tea, dandelion tea, and if you hate taking oral medicine (like me), take these pills with healthy drinks like cranberry juice and pomegranate juice. The "oil" capsules are easy to take because of the smooth, sleek outer covering.


Laterz!
xoxo